This has led to writing a course I’d been dreaming of for years, as well as having the enthusiasm and motivation to get outside and play.
I was a regular drinker of two glasses of wine, sometimes more if entertaining or bored. I found I couldn’t metabolise alcohol well as I aged. My days were listless, my energy low, my sleep a disaster, and I was frustrated with my life and myself. I didn’t have any grand event that led me to take the challenge. I just knew I needed a change and alcohol seemed the obvious culprit.
Starting my challenge
I was nervous in the beginning, and initially I only signed up for 28 days, telling myself I could always “go back” after it was done. I promised myself I would do the challenge fully and then see where I would go. But after the 28 days, I felt fantastic, so I extended my challenge to 90 days, then 365! In reflection, it is the societal pressure of drinking that caused my hesitation. I didn’t believe I could have fun without a drink when socialising. Turns out that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The alcohol-free advantage
Everything is better! I sleep well, I lost my belly bloat, and my energy dramatically increased. This has led to writing a course I’d been dreaming of for years, as well as having the enthusiasm and motivation to get outside and play. More importantly, my moods are stable and the lingering low level anxiety and depression I’d had for years has simply vanished.
In the beginning, I used the daily videos and prompts for change to help me stay on course. The far-ranging support has been the Facebook group. I feel connected to a greater collective of people reshaping their relationship to alcohol. I stay active so that I can help the new people with their question of “Is this normal when you quit?” It is a safe, confidential space to explore the feelings that come with quitting, as well as celebrate wins and encourage those who have tripped up but want to keep going.
I don’t drink at all anymore. I’ve had so many benefits from quitting that I don’t want to ruin my progress. My life is much brighter and more fun without it. While it may seem that alcohol is a ‘friend’ and lets you relax, the truth is that it’s a depressant and always lets you down in the long run. My fun comes from a more active life now that I’m not stuck on the couch with the blahs.
I’d 100% recommend the OYNB Alcohol-Free Challenge to a friend. I have already told several friends about OYNB. These are people who don’t feel they “qualify” for AA, but they want to change.